Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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8 Ways to Keep Going When the Journey Gets Long

     Path to beach

 ( Today’s post comes from my June Newsletter. )

  Most of us have seen that ancient quote by Lao-Tzu,

  “A  journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.”

     It’s a good motivator to get us started. But what about when you’ve been taking those steps for a while, and the journey of a thousand miles feels like two-thousand? Lately, I’ve felt that way about my book.

     Don’t get me wrong! I love my book. I believe in my book. But it feels like high time for my baby to leave the nest and fly out into the world. Yet, I keep getting these opportunities to trust the timing. Thanks, God.

     I know my past six years of book writing is a drop in the bucket compared to some journeys, and I’m glad I got to learn so much about the intricacies of writing, editing, revising, book cover design, ….. (and the technical stuff – but let’s not even go there except for this picture.)

crossed eyes in confusion

Technical glitches. (Add 50 years and messy hair.)

      The good news is that publication is right around the corner. I can see it! I have real paperback proof copies being proof read as I write this. And I am thankful. This journey has been worth every step.

So, What does it take to keep going, to not give up, when we tire of the journey?  Here are some things that can help:

1. Rest. Take breaks. But don’t rest too long, because there’s that inertia thing.

2. Do something totally different. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, get outside and move!  Use different parts of your mind and body. Stretch your legs! Put on some music and dance! (I’m talking to myself here, too.)

3. Get a fresh perspective – ask for honest and encouraging feedback. Ask for positive feedbaMakeck along with constructive criticism. What do they like? What could be better?

4.  Consider changes. Research, then trust your gut. Maybe there’s a different path to take that just feels right. For me, it was the decision to publish under my maiden name – a big, inconvenient step but one that brought peace of mind and forward momentum.

5. Break big jobs into small parcels. Take one chapter at a time or one paragraph at a time, and congratulate yourself for getting through each step.  I have clutter issues. Hey, I’m an artist! It helps me to focus on one corner, counter, or table top and de-clutter that small space. Then I stand back and admire the “after” picture.

6. Think about the reason for the finished product, whether it’s a clean table top or a published book. What are the likely benefits? How will it improve your life or help others?

7. Pray. Ask for what you need, be it guidance, strength, balance, gratitude, or patience.

     Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.

                                                   (Dr. Joyce Meyer)

8. Remember that “Nothing is impossible.” That’s what my father told me when I was 12, and it stuck. Here’s the poem I posted for him last week: https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/for-my-father/

What’s the next step on your journey? I’d love to know.

Atlantic Beach steps

If you liked this post, I hope you’ll subscribe to my monthly newsletter via the sidebar to the right. (If you already subscribe, thank you!)  In addition to updates on my book, I include encouraging tips and ideas on life, relationships, and stuff I’ve learned in my 60 something years.


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Pay Attention to the Signs

danger

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word, “sign.”

Our bodies will give us signs. Like acid reflux or upset stomach when stressed. At least mine does. My acid reflux is always an indicator of stress, or eating too fast. I ignored the signs that my post-divorce rebound, aka, the “rebound from hell,” was not a good fit. I ignored the fact that he drank a lot. (Maybe I could help him with that – OMG was I messed up!) I ignored the jealousy – accusations that I must have been with someone when he couldn’t get up with me, or “out of pocket,” as he later called it. Oh, how I hate that expression and the memory of it.

I ignored the little voice in my head that maybe I could do better. I was seriously wounded.  My body gave me other signs too – a mysterious female ailment that would not get better.  My body knew he wasn’t good for me.

But years after the rebound from hell ended, my body got better. Eventually, I knew I was better off not dating anyone. So, after five years of celibacy, I was hesitant. Fearful. Nervous, yet excited about the man from my long ago past. My high school sweetheart. People change a lot in 39 years, I told myself. BE CAREFUL!

But God gave me signs that had to do with timing. Should I give it away? Did I give it away in an earlier post? It’s in my book which comes out sometime this summer. Let me just say that I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t do something until something else happened. The timing of when my high school sweetheart re-appeared fit right in to this promise. And there was another promise about a criminal background check before falling in love again. The way he responded when I told him that was a sign of honor and respect.

When some one honors you and helps you keep your promises to yourself, that means a lot. My body felt comfortable and safe with him. Excited and aroused, too, after five years of celibacy. But I had learned that you can’t trust just that kind of arousal. I had to have the safety and comfort, too. And respect. I’ve read that respect is really important to men and being listened to is most important to women. Well, I can tell you that I want respect, too. And joy. And feeling safe. All those things are part of being loved and loving.

If I had not found all those good qualities in another person, I was prepared to stay single, celibate, and solo, with friends and dogs for company. Being willing to stay single was my strength. I had finally learned to honor, love, and respect myself enough to be in a healthy relationship.

I just have to bend the rules and enter another stream of consciousness to add this sign which I forgot about. Dang. I wish I’d written about this sign. Well, another time….

sign at Summerland key wharf

socsbadge2016-17

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more information, just follow this sign:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1717/

Here are the SOCS Rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


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Six Years Ago

It was six years ago today, probably around 8PM, that I got this Facebook message from my high school sweetheart after 39 years of no contact:

Greetings to you! After many years I hope you are well. Take care and be safe!

After that, everything changed.

You can read all about the 39 years, what it took for us to be ready to meet again, and what happened next, in my memoir which will be available this summer!

ebook cover -1536x2048


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Time Will Tell

Time will tell, but only if you listen.  

                                                                 __Christopher Troy

I found this little gem at:    https://thechristophertroystories.com/2017/05/20/time/

One liner Weds 2017

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/07/one-liner-wednesday-i-want-it-all/

where you’ll find inspiring or humorous one-liners every Wednesday!

Here are the rules which I sometimes follow:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool new badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

 


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I Can See Clearly Now

Song Lyric Sunday

When I saw today’s theme was to share a song surrounding a happy memory, I wanted to find one from 1972, the year I fell in love for the first time. When I looked at the list for the top 100 songs from that year, there were so many good ones! But it was the sad songs I remembered best. In 1972, My first love moved 700 miles away at the end of the school year.  “Precious and Few,” by Bread, was bittersweet, and Harry Nilsson’s “Without You,” made me wail.

Then, I came across “I Can See Clearly Now,” by Johnny Nash. It didn’t make a big impression on me when it came out in 72, but it has brought me comfort and affirmation over the years.

In 2003, I had just broken free from the blinding rebound from hell and was on a freedom road trip with my almost teenage daughter. We sang a lot on road trips back then. When I taught her Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman,” she was not as enthusiastic as I’d hoped, but maybe that’s because I sang it at the top of my lungs. On our way home, a rainbow appeared in front of us, and the song, “I Can See Clearly Now” came to me. Or maybe it came on the radio. Anyway, it became my victory song for that year. It packs a powerful dose of hope.

 

Today, my physical eyesight is not so clear, but my spirit can see clearly that things work out wonderfully when the time is right. I am grateful beyond words.

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to us by Helen at:

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/06/03/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-6417/

where you’ll find more good memories.

 


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Flowing with Synchronicity

Obstructed for years,

Creative juices now flow

Finding their way home.

ralphwaldoemerson1.jpg The Universe Conspires

A few weeks ago, a friend asked if my husband and I wanted some of the left over wood from the construction of her new house. She wondered they could sell it at the thrift store my husband manages. We loaded his truck with scrap wood of various shapes and sizes. With my friend’s blessing, I saved the pieces that wanted me to paint on them. I like to use the knots in the wood as faces or halos and to look for wings and things in the grain.

Angel Heart

Close up of an angel I painted a few years ago.

The following week, I had just left the local bookstore in a shopping village downtown, when I was drawn into a new store that only sells locally made arts and crafts. Entering this store for the first time, I felt good vibes. Much of the art hanging on soft yellow walls was painted on or cut out of wood. I showed the manager photos of my art from my phone. We scheduled a time to bring in my work to show the owner.

Then, on that same morning, I went to a yoga class I had not been to in two weeks. After the class, my book came up in conversation with one the studio owners who happened to be there. She asked me to do a book signing there this summer, maybe along with a workshop.

The next week, I met with the owner of the local art store. She  liked my work and agreed to hang it. I just needed to set prices – not an easy task.

This morning, I dropped off 24 pieces of my art ready to find new homes. It was like sending little pieces of me out into the world – uncomfortable, yet exciting. It helps to remind myself that they weren’t doing anybody any good collecting dust in my spare bedroom studio.

Ocean Angel long dre

I call her Umbrella Angel

Now, I seem to be finding all kinds of things to paint on at the thrift store – wooden trays, boxes, and wood cut outs to be re-purposed into “canvas.”

All of these opportunities are things I did not consciously plan. They were not on my list of strategies to build my creative new life.

Yet, at the end of last year, I made the decision to quit my long time counseling career to focus on art and writing full time.

I believe the universe is conspiring, as commissioned by God, to work on my behalf. At the same time, I’m going with the flow: walking into that gallery I had not planned to go to, going to the yoga class on that particular day and time….

(It’s the same flow my high school sweetheart was going with when he found me 39 years later.)

Sometimes these things take a while. I loved art and writing as a teenager, but chose a different career path. Now, at the age of 61, I’m finally coming back home to my art.

 

The Gift

“The Gift,” which I painted on an old wooden box top two years ago, has been waiting patiently.

If it can happen to me, it  can happen to everyone.

Never

give

up

on

your

dreams!


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When Things Don’t Work Out, Maybe There’s a Reason

grateful things didn't work out

Because something way better came along!

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/31/one-liner-wednesday-a-dogs-purpose/

One liner Weds 2017

Here are the rules, which I often follow:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool new badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!